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Sampaoli upbeat despite defeat

24 Jun 2014 14:16:52

Sampaoli upbeat despite defeat

Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli is upbeat about his team's World Cup chances despite having to face Brazil in the last 16.

Monday's 2-0 defeat to Holland in Sao Paulo was La Roja's first defeat of the tournament.

Second-half goals from substitutes Leroy Fer and Memphis Depay handed the Oranje their third straight triumph and a top finish in Group B.

The outcome meant Holland will take on Mexico in the knock-out round while Chile must square off against the host nation.

"Our confidence remains intact," Sampaoli said to Chile newspaper La Tercera. "We played to win the game but we didn't find a way through against a Dutch team that not only defended but never attempted fast counter-attacks.

"In my opinion it was an unfair result because I think Chile made a huge effort to attack.

"We wanted to play and Holland didn't.

"We neverless pushed Holland to play in their own half for the last 15 minutes.

"I am very proud of the team I am coaching.

"We go to the next round with our heads held high."

Chile will face La Canarinha hoping for third time lucky.

The two South American sides have met twice in the last 16 of the tournament, with La Roja losing 4-2 in 1998 and falling 3-0 in South Africa four years ago.

"Brazil is the number one candidate to win the tournament but I don't think my players will be overwhelmed," Sampaoli said. "Our rivals will know they will face a team that will battle for 90 minutes."

Chile will be bolstered by the return of midfielder Arturo Vidal when they take on Brazil on Saturday in Belo Horizonte.

The Juventus player, who underwent knee surgery last month, played from the start in their victories to Australia and Spain but rested in Monday's game as a precaution.

Vidal cannot wait to face Brazil.

"I'm not going to miss this game for the world and I'm going to work hard in order to arrive to it in the best possible shape," he said. "I needed to rest my knee a little bit and the fact that I didn't play on Monday has helped me a lot in view of Saturday's game."

Chile have met Brazil twice in two friendlies recently, with a 2-2 draw in Belo Horizonte in April and a 2-1 win for Luiz Felipe Scolari's men in Toronto in November 2013.

"Brazil has always been a nighmare for Chile," Vidal admitted. "But things have gradually changed.

"The generations change and we hope we can play a great game.

"We just hope that a quality referee officiates the game and only the better team progresses.

"We have seen in previous games that the bigger teams have benefited from refereeing decisions while the smaller teams have been hindered."

Holland midfielder Wesley Sneijder responded to claims made by Sampaoli that his national team played defensive football on Monday. Louis van Gaal's side have scored 10 goals in three games so far in Brazilian soil.

"It's a little bit disrespectful if he says we didn't want to play football and we didn't do anything in this game because we were the ones that won 2-0," Sneijder said to La Tercera. "If Sampaoli saw us in the two games before, we didn't play that differently against them than with respect to those two games.

"We know that we are very strong and can play compact, and we know that up front with our strikers we are very strong, so it was up to Chile to create something against it.

"They couldn't create anything so that's a compliment for our team."

Holland take on Mexico on Sunday in Fortaleza with captain Robin van Persie available for selection having missed the clash against Chile through suspension.

Mexico beat Croatia 3-1 on Monday to finish second in Group A behind Brazil.


PA

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